The James Webb telescope after launch will be the most powerful space observatory in history, but how do his images match the pictures of Hubble, the real standard in this field?
One of them has greatly expanded our perceptions of space and has drawn our attention to our breathtaking images over the past three decades; the other is planning to revolutionize our relationship with the universe over the next three decades. James Webb's telescope is often called a replacement or successor to Hubble, but it is worth pointing out the differences between these two observatorys, which may even complement each other for a while.
Two different observation fields
On the one hand, these two telescopes will be far apart in space, while Hubble is in low Earth orbit, JWT will be located 1.5 million kilometres away from Earth in Lagrangian orbit 2.
"," said Klaus Pontoppidan of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore."
Note that although James Webb's telescope will observe mainly infrared light, it will still be able to see the red/orange part of the visible light spectrum. The gold surface on the mirrors absorbs the blue light of the visible spectrum, but reflects the yellow and red visible light that will be detected.
Although this is not its main observation function, Hubble is also able to observe some infrared rays. In 2013, the telescope team published an excellent infrared image of the Konese head nebula on the 22nd anniversary of its launch.
Since the 1990s, the Hubble has regularly provided us with excitingly clear images, showing stars and galaxies more than ever before. JWT's corner resolution will be the same. In other words, its images will be as clear as its predecessor.
However, JWT offers a much larger mirror: 6.5 m in width compared to 2.4 m. This will allow it to explore the universe deeper by detecting objects 10 times or 100 times weaker than what Hubble can see.
His infrared look will eventually be strong enough to pierce the densest clouds of space dust behind the first stars and galaxies that emerged from the Big Bang.